An article from Insider Intelligence presents a variety of industry data and statistics that support a link between higher patient engagement and shorter hospital stays. This is good news for hospitals, whose leaders are increasingly focused on improving revenue and mitigating costs where possible. When patient stays are shorter, health systems have smaller cost burdens.
The positive impact on engagement and these inpatient stays is evidenced by research from Epic that found patients with active portal accounts had hospital stays an average of one-half to one full day shorter than individuals without.
But patient portal use is just one marker of engagement. While portals are valuable tools for reviewing medical records and test results, this approach should be complemented by a variety of other digital strategies. For example, SMS-based patient engagement is a preferred method of communication by individuals who want to interact with the healthcare system. These text message communications can enable actions like appointment self-scheduling and rescheduling by allowing people to message bidirectionally with their healthcare providers.
Intrado conducted a survey of health IT leaders about their patient engagement priorities and goals to identify trends for 2022. More than 50% of respondents stated they plan to invest in systems that support SMS-based patient engagement, or texting. According to the article, health system executives’ focus on advancing their organizations’ engagement strategies via unique digital channels—portals, mobile apps, and texting—will translate to savings.
One other way SMS-based patient engagement can benefit hospital finances involves cutting down time spent by staff on tedious, repetitive communications. What historically required hands-on phone calls for patient recall, appointment management, and even pre- and post-visit instructions or follow-up can now be accomplished automatically by EHR-embedded patient engagement platforms. This technology streamlines multi-step outreach and intakes responses from patients, saving staff time and reducing their burden. As healthcare organizations are challenged with mitigating burnout and preventing turnover before it happens, freeing up unnecessary manual tasks placed on healthcare teams’ to-do lists is a simple strategy to support these efforts.
Read the full article here.